Baruch College Receives $1 Million from Bank of America to Support Black and Latino Students’ Academic and Career SuccessLargest Corporate Gift in 20 Years Funds New Comprehensive Initiatives
November 19, 2020
Baruch College received a $1 million gift from Bank of America to fund comprehensive new initiatives supporting education and career development programs that prepare Black and Latino students to enter the professional workforce, and to embark on a path to success.
The $1 million gift represents the largest corporate gift to Baruch in 20 years, and is the second largest in the College’s history.
“The partnership between Bank of America and Baruch College will have a life-changing impact on the academic, professional, and personal success of our students,” said S. David Wu, PhD, president of Baruch College. “Baruch has a long legacy of leading innovation and social change—not only has it been a catalyst for the social mobility of its diverse population, but it has achieved academic excellence at the highest level.”
“We are grateful to Bank of America for this generous gift, and together, we reassert our commitment to racial equality and economic opportunity. We look forward to creating an ever more robust and concentrated focus on expanding career and professional leadership opportunities for Black and Latino students, thereby elevating opportunities for all of our students.”
Baruch College is the first higher education institution in the Northeast selected by Bank of America to be part of the company’s $25 million initiative, which includes partnerships with nearly two dozen higher education institutions across the country. Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.
A Comprehensive Initiative: Black and Latinx Success Amplified
Baruch College and Bank of America’s partnership comes at a time when the national graduation and completion rates for underrepresented minority students within six years of college enrollment are particularly low—28.8 percent for Black students and 37.1 percent for Latino students.
While Baruch’s six-year graduation rates stand well above the national average—just under 57 percent for Black students and over 60 percent for Latino students for the past five years—the College aims to close the gap to its overall six-year graduation rate of 69.9 percent, which is significantly higher than schools serving students from similar academic and economic backgrounds.
With funding from Bank of America, Baruch College will establish a comprehensive new initiative Black and Latinx Success Amplified—a multi-prong model of services that will integrate and expand existing programs dedicated to supporting Black and Latino students’ academic success—from matriculation to graduation, and beyond.
This large initiative will provide intense programming support for service and experiential learning opportunities, culturally responsive counseling services, and relationship-building efforts with faculty and mentors in the student’s field of study. Programming will focus on career success with an emphasis on establishing mentoring and networking relationships for students with Baruch’s New York City-based and global web of alumni.
Bank of America’s support will also scale up Baruch’s Rising Starr Sophomore Program (RSSP) in the Starr Career Development Center to help students gain a head start in their career and leadership development and to counter the trend of greater attrition among Black and Latino students in their second and third years.
Black and Latinx Success Amplified will also encompass family programming, available in English and Spanish, to cultivate support systems for students that extend beyond academics. Guided family support will begin at recruitment and follow the students and their families through graduation to help ensure a successful career future.
Baruch’s divisions of Enrollment Management & Strategic Academic Initiatives and Student Affairs will create, administer, and support Black and Latinx Success Amplified.
Baruch College: A Powerhouse for Diverse New Talent
The Black and Latinx Success Amplified initiative is the latest example of Baruch College’s ongoing commitment to advancing economic opportunities for students, especially those in underserved communities.
“In providing affordable access to a high-caliber education for people from all backgrounds and social classes, and establishing results-focused career and leadership development programs,” said President Wu, “Baruch pioneers and expands ways for producing the creative, analytical, and leadership talent needed for the innovation economy of New York, the nation, and the world.”
According to President Wu, this exciting partnership with Bank of America marks a new beginning for Baruch’s efforts to strengthen, leverage and grow relationships with broader business, civic and community organizations, including frequent employers of Baruch students, such as JP Morgan, Amazon, Google, major nonprofits, and government agencies.
President Wu added: “Given the high quality and national reputation of Baruch—along with the diversity of our student body—Baruch College is clearly positioned as a powerhouse of diverse new talent.”
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